NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police have released new surveillance pictures of a suspect who they say is wanted for threatening to pour acid on women in two separate robberies at an Upper East Side ATM earlier this year.
As CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported, investigators hope the new images will be the key to his arrest.
Both robberies happened back in May at the ATM inside a Citibank on First Avenue.
The most recent incident happened just after 1:30 p.m. on May 29. Police said a 36-year-old woman was using the ATM when the man ordered her to give him $1,000 or he would throw acid in her face, showing her a water bottle that contained a yellow liquid.
“It’s a sick world, I don’t have the words for it,” one man said.
The victim spoke to CBS2 by phone and described the ordeal.
“I just completely freaked out and shaking and couldn’t breath,” she said.
Panicked, she said she was having trouble with her PIN. The suspect, she said, was growing impatient and then lowered the amount he demanded.
“He said, ‘Just give me $500,'” she said.
She gave him the cash and said the threats continued before he eventually left.
Investigators believe the same man pulled the same stunt at the same location with another woman less than three weeks before on May 12. In that case, the woman gave over the full $1,000.
No one was hurt in either incident.
Some Citibank customers like Mitzie Thomas were just learning about the robberies.
“Very scary, very scary, gotta look behind us and see if there’s anyone behind us and close the door, make sure the door is closed when we go inside, we can’t be too careful,” she said.
Some Citibanks are solely ATM locations with no staff, just machines inside. Some customers say part of the problem is, there isn’t enough security.
“They should have someone here constantly. They keep bringing someone after it happens. They should have someone before, during, and after,” Charles Gadsden said.
Gadsden said immediately after the crimes, the bank had guards, but their presence was short lived.
“They’ll have someone about two weeks, and then they’re gone. They should have someone constantly,” he said.
Citibank said they take incidents like this seriously, but could not comment further since the matter is under investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782), visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.